The Ghanaian Ministry of Trades has rejected claims of unfair treatment by Nigerian traders in the country during the enforcement of the Ghana Investment Promotion Council regulations.
It insisted that the traders must pay the required taxes and other fees imposed on them by the authorities.
This is happening despite the intervention of the presidents of Ghana and Nigeria through the Economic Community of West African States.
A Nigerian trader whose shop was forcefully locked up by the Ghanaian security officials had recorded a video of the incident in which they asked him to pay the $1 million registration fee. The victim had shown the officials his business registration certificate and other documents but the enforcement team was adamant as they insisted on shutting his premises.
But speaking on the incident on a Ghanaian radio station, Starrfm, the Head of Communications, Ministry of Trade, Prince Boakye Boateng, said the Nigerian traders had failed to honour an ultimatum to meet the requirements.
He said, “It cannot be we’ve been insensitive; if that is what they’re saying, I’ll be disappointed because I’ll rather say they have rather been unfair to us as a regulatory body because we have given them more time than enough to the extent even the Ghanaians thought that the ministry was not even on their side or the ministry wasn’t ready to even enforce the law.”
He recalled that the shops were locked last December and later re-opened following the intervention of President Nana Akufo-Ado.
According to him, the traders complied but have not regularised their documents for verification.
Boateng explained that the law being enforced gave the Ghana Union of Traders Association the right to be the sole traders in the local market.
The Spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, said the Nigerian mission in Accra was yet to send a formal report on the harassment of the traders to the ministry.